Staying safe at work is one thing, but when an accident or emergency occurs, there’s going to be a lot more you have to deal with. Even with all your careful planning, adherence to healthy and safety laws, and explaining the rules to all of your employees, there’s still going to be some events you can’t keep from happening. That’s just a rule of life after all. However, there’s no good declaring this without a little explanation of where to go from here. With that in mind, here’s a few tips for you to keep handy to make sure your business will live to see another day when an emergency occurs in the workplace.
Know Who’s in Charge
A command chain matters more in an emergency situation than it does anywhere else in the workplace. Of course you’re always going to defer to a supervisor and them to the boss, but once you’ve got chaos and panic on your hands, this is going to be straight out of the door. Putting a backup chain of command in place means you’re going to be able to keep employees on the straight and narrow when it comes to controlling a bad situation.
You’re going to need an emergency response coordinator, in accordance with OSHA and other workplace standards. Once you’ve got this person in place, outline all the necessary actions in case of an emergency. They’re going to have to call for aid, for example, as well as keep count of all employees in the building and make sure the evacuation goes off without a hitch.
If this person is out of the office or shop at some point throughout the working year, make sure you’ve got a backup coordinator to take over their duties. Having a small team to work on knowing about and preparing for anything that can go wrong in your line of work is going to give anyone who works under you a lot more job security.
Know the Emergency Exits
Sometimes in the work world, we’re going to need to make sure we have a direct route out of a building. Whether this is because of a fire or an intruder doesn’t matter; as long as you know you have an emergency exit that’s clearly signposted and leads straight away from any danger, you’re going to handle the emergency a lot better.
First of all, you’re going to be safe at no risk to yourself or others. Secondly, you’ve got a way to alert others around you and the authorities if need be. Once you’re outside on the ground, you’ve got a lot more means at your disposal and the ability to maneuver without harm, so always make sure your first move is to try and get out.
When Someone Gets Injured
There’s a whole host of accidents out there that can happen to someone, and depending on the severity of an injury, you might have to pay out thousands in damages to an employee. Of course your employee will usually have the right to head to the nearest law office, take a look at the ‘our lawyers’ availability, and march straight down to court with one of them at their side. However, there’s some stipulations that make any accidents not your fault.
Make sure you carry out risk assessments, and make sure you carry them out often. If you have a new employee on board, or a new practice or equipment in the office that poses a risk, make sure you do an assessment before anyone gets to work. As long as you point out the risks and ways around them, a lawsuit will find it hard to hold you liable for any accidents that occur.
Similarly, make sure you take records of any injuries or accidents that occur. As an employer, it’s your job to take care of your employees, and this is a great way to do so. If you have an employee who requests time off work because of anything associated with the injury, you can legally let them take the time they need with this record. On the other hand as well, an accident book means you know where the most risks take place in your workplace, and can work towards fixing the causes.
Handling emergencies in the workplace is something that everyone does differently, and it’s always a troubling time if you need to. However, when you’re prepared with a good routine everyone knows how to follow, normal days will proceed.